27 Fall Desserts to Satisfy Your Craving for a Cozy, Delicious Treat

Dig into apples, pears, caramel—and plenty of warm baking spices.

Updated on August 15, 2023

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

Photo By: Matt Armendariz

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Armando Rafael

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

Photo By: Teri Lyn Fisher

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.


Photo By: Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Our Favorite Fall Dessert Ideas

There’s just something about the change of season that makes us want to head into the kitchen and bake! Whether it’s to use up our apples or pears after a trip to the orchard or simply because we’re craving a perfectly spiced, seasonal treat—fall is one of our favorite times of the year for desserts. You can’t go wrong with any of the ideas in this roundup but a go-to recipe after a day of apple picking is a must. That’s why we love these mini treats; they’re reminiscent of a cake doughnut and perfect for snacking—and flecked with bits of apple. Boosted with cider and topped with streusel, they’re the perfect indulgence.

Get the Recipe: Mini Apple Cider Doughnut Cakes

Instant Pot Magic Apple Cake

You don't need fancy inserts or special pans to make a sweet and satisfying baked dessert in an instant pot. This easy recipe lets you cook up a warm, spiced apple treat right in the bowl of the machine.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Magic Apple Cake

Pouding Chômeur

Pouding chômeur (or "pudding of the unemployed") is a sweet, sticky cake from Quebec, Canada. It originated during the Depression as an easy and cost-effective dessert using pantry ingredients. Originally, you would make a simple sauce with brown sugar, flour and water, spread it on the bottom of a baking dish and then top it with a vanilla cake batter. Once the economy picked up, maple syrup was introduced into the sauce and it quickly became a key ingredient. The result is a super moist cake that you serve warm, sauce-side up, preferably with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries.

Get the Recipe: Pouding Chômeur

Apple Meringue Cupcakes

These apple-packed cupcakes are topped off with a delicious golden meringue crown for a seasonal treat that's sure to impress.

Get the Recipe: Apple Meringue Cupcakes

Mini Banana Beignets

Deep-fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar, this dessert is done in less than 30 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Mini Banana Beignets

Skillet-Apple Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Follow Trisha's lead and save time in the kitchen with store-bought pie crusts as the base and topping for this wow-worthy pie.

Get the Recipe: Skillet Apple Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Pumpkin-Yogurt Cheesecake

We add a little Greek yogurt to our pumpkin cheesecake, making it denser, creamier and the absolute perfect amount of sweet.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin-Yogurt Cheesecake

Pots de Creme

The Pioneer Woman's individual chocolate treats have a secret kick: strong coffee.

Get the Recipe: Pots de Creme

Concord Grape Layer Cake

Concord grapes are in season during September and October. They have thick skins and a distinctive syrupy sweet taste which makes them perfect for desserts.

Get the Recipe: Concord Grape Layer Cake

Quick and Easy Apple Tart

Ree's quick and easy apple tart will impress guests but is a cinch to make. It takes only 30 minutes to put together (thanks to sheets of puff pastry and store-bought caramel sauce), but it'll look like you spent hours on it.

Get the Recipe: Quick and Easy Apple Tart

Pumpkin Swirl Cookies

Break open these oversized cookies, fragrant with pumpkin and spice, to reveal a soft interior with a beautiful swirl.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Swirl Cookies

Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

Bobby's easy Granny Smith apple dessert is topped with brown sugar, granola and a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. What's not to love?!

Get the Recipe: Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

Apple Brown Butter Tart

Anne Burrell cooks butter low and slow so that it starts to brown and smell like hazelnuts, an aromatic filling for her apple tart. Because it's easier to make a larger quantity of the filling and it lasts in the fridge for a few days, her recipe can make two tarts.

Get the Recipe: Apple Brown Butter Tart

Cranberry-Pear Galette with Pecan Crust

One bite of this cranberry-pear filled galette and your tastebuds will be tingling. The homemade crust features toasted pecans, which bring a nice buttery nuttiness to the otherwise fruity dessert.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry-Pear Galette with Pecan Crust

Bananas Foster Bread

Super-soft bananas are nice and sweet (green bananas have no place here). Keep them a bit chunky once you mash them so you can get little bits of banana in your bread. Damaris Phillips adds many of the flavors of a traditional bananas Foster dessert (like rum and brown sugar) to this glazed treat, too.

Get the Recipe: Bananas Foster Bread

Pear Clafouti

A clafouti is a French country dessert that features a pancake-like batter over fruit. The batter will bake up just enough to hold but not cover the beautiful array of pears in your dish.

Get the Recipe: Pear Clafouti

Caramel Apple Pie

The Pioneer Woman takes her apple pie to a new level by topping it with gooey caramel and crunch pecan. Don't forget the crumb topping, made with brown sugar and quick oats, for an extra texture.

Get the Recipe: Caramel Apple Pie

Boozy Blondie Milkshakes

A little bit of scotch goes a long way in these adults-only milkshakes.

Get the Recipe: Boozy Blondie Milkshakes

Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

A spiced apple filling tops these buttery cookies, packing all the flavor of an apple pie into a single bite for a fraction of the work!

Get the Recipe: Apple Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Apple-Raisin Cinnamon Bun Pie

There's more than meets the eye in this tricky pie. At first glance, it looks like a pan full of cinnamon buns, but cut into it and there's apple pie filling underneath! 

Get the Recipe: Apple-Raisin Cinnamon Bun Pie

Pear Cobbler with Cranberry Streusel

Streusel is a super-easy topping for in-season pears — it's just flour, butter and sugar. Tyler Florence uses brown sugar to complement the flavor of the pears. Make it special by folding cranberries directly into the streusel topping.

Get the Recipe: Pear Cobbler with Cranberry Streusel

Fried Apple Pies

Deep-fried apple pies in a just-for-one size? Yes, please! This recipe will show you how.

Get the Recipe: Fried Apple Pies

Vanilla-Cookie Pudding

A cinnamon stick and a vanilla pod are the key to the fall flavors of this pudding that's layered with crumbled oatmeal-raisin cookies.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla-Cookie Pudding

Homemade Apple Butter

Make a batch of this seasonal butter and store in airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Try it on everything from slices of pound cake to buttery shortbread cookies.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Apple Butter

Caramel Apple Cake

Bake this apple cake the day before serving so the flavors and texture ripen. Then glaze it with caramel the day you plan to serve it.

Get the Recipe: Caramel Apple Cake

Chocolate Pear Pouches

These picture-perfect creations are easier than they look. Just use store bought phyllo dough to wrap your pears.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Pear Pouches

Freeform Fruit and Nut Pies

These little pies are supposed to look rustic, so don't stress about making them picture-perfect. It's a simple dough, a little jam and you've got a delicious, easy single-serving pie.

Get the Recipe: Free-Form Fruit and Nut Pies